Visit Isle of Man and Quality In Tourism (the independent accommodation assessors) has created a list of accommodation do’s and don’ts to help accommodation providers on the Island accurately advertise the accommodation you offer and the expectations guests have when using certain designators to describe your accommodation. The main focus of the list is to ensure your marketing is selling your business accurately, honestly and legally.

Our top tips for success in marketing your business!

  • Don't confuse your guests
  • Don't try to be something that you're not - don't overpromise visitors on the accommodation quality, facilities or service, be honest.
  • Keep the descriptions honest, transparent, punchy and in simple language easy to understand.
  • Be clear and concise about the sleeping arrangements; i.e. sofa beds, more than two guests to one room, bunks, smaller beds, 4" doubles, 2'6" as examples.
  • Be clear and concise about the facilities you offer, as an example, the type of breakfast offered, reception times, is there parking on site and are there any additional charges.
  • Highlight your unique selling points, otherwise known as your USP. A USP is something that makes your accommodation stand out against the rest for example, a sea view, quirky yurts, located deep in the Manx countryside with rolling hills and not another property in sight, Isle of Man themed bedrooms or 100% Manx breakfast served as examples.
  • Highlight your good bits and bad bits i.e the second bedroom is rather small with a low ceiling, but perfect for visitors up to a height of 4 feet.
  • Think about what you look for when you're booking something and make sure that your guests can access this information quickly and easily for your accommodation.
  • Make sure you provide clear contact information for visitors to communicate with you and give an indication of how long it will be before you get back to them via a direct response or answer machine message e.g we will endeavour to contact you within 48 hours.
  • Do you have your booking, cancellation and refund policy and if so, are these communicated clearly to visitors before booking, upon booking and after booking? If you don't have any policies in place, this is something you must think about putting in place.
  • Do you send an email to visitors once they have made the booking to confirm their reservation, arrival details and to clarify the cancellation policy? If not, this is worth doing! If visitors are made aware of all of the terms of their booking at the earliest opportunity it alleviates the possibility of visitors complaining at a later stage.

Just a reminder! - Legally you must advertise transparently.

Schedule 3 Part 1 of The Tourist (General) Regulations1991 states under “Code of Conduct” inter alia the following:

"To descrive fairly to all visitors and prospective visitors the amenities, facilities and service provided by the establishment, whether by advertisement, brochure, word of mouth or any other means."

Please ensure that you are not miss-describing your accommodation. For example, if you are registered with the Department as a Guest House or Guest Accommodation you must use these words on all advertising  and do not call the property a Hotel. This also relates to the accommodation star-rating award. If you are registered as a 4-Star Guest house, you must advertise as such, and refrain from confusing visitors by thinking the property is a 4-Star Hotel.

If you have any queries on the above please contact the Visit Isle of Man team and they will be happy to assist in the first instance and if necessary will consult further with Quality In Tourism.

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